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EghtesadOnline: Insurance companies generated 799 trillion rials ($2.95 billion) in premium in the first three quarters of the current fiscal year (ends in March – up 36% on the same period last year.

Life insurance category logged 128.9 trillion ($477.4 million) from the total, posting 51.9% increase compared to the first three quarters the year earlier. 

The Central Insurance company of Iran, the regulator, said this category accounted for 16.13% of the industry’s portfolio.

Parliament had called on the sector to raise the bar and boost life insurance revenue to 50% of the total revenue by the end of the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2016-21) – apparently a tall order.

However, growth in life insurance premium turned out to be contrary to earlier expectations and reservations about the sustainability of life insurance premium during the brutal pandemic. Households were and are less likely to be able to afford costly life insurance.

As such, insurers are exerting extra effort to promote the sector in recent months. The CII recently reported increase in the number of agents specializing in life insurance by 12.9% reaching 44,300. 

Thus far two specialized life insurance companies are operating in the local market, namely Middle East Life Insurance and Baran Life Insurance. The number is expected to reach five as the regulator has granted license to three new life insurance firms. 



Other Categories 

More than 50.5 million insurance policies were sold during the period under review, 5.22% higher on the previous year. 

The mandatory third-party auto insurance remains the leading source of insurance companies' income. It made 274.9 trillion rials ($1.02b) during the nine months. 

Insurers posted 47% growth in third-party auto premium compared to the first three quarters of last year. They sold an estimated 17.2 million policies, up 1.4% year-on-year.

Medical insurance was second with 144 trillion rials ($533m) accounting for 18.02% of the total premium income – 11.8% higher on the same period last year. In sum, 811,627 medical insurance policies were sold in the period, up 173.6% Y/Y.

Auto body insurance with 7.28% liability insurance with 5.25% and fire insurance at 4.55% share of the total premium, were the other main sources of income. Flight   insurance registered the highest growth during the period under the review -- 86.29% year-on-year.

Insurers sold 1,733 flight insurance policies, up 2.9% year-on-year.

Insurance companies’ total payout reached 409.6 trillion rials ($1.5b) in the period posting 45% growth y/y.

Medical insurance accounted for 36.8% of total payouts at 150.7 trillion rials ($558m), up 82% on the same period last year. Third-party vehicle insurance was next at 30.72% or 125.8 trillion rials ($466m) up 21.06% y/y.

The money was paid for 37.7 million medical bills, 32.1% higher than the same period a year ago. Medical insurance claims accounted for 94.07% or 35.48 million of total claims, up 34%.

The payout ratio during the nine months was 51.26%, up 3.39% points on the same time last year. Marine insurance recorded the highest payout ratio at 163% followed by the medical sector reaching 104%.


life insurance